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Loch secures gold for Germany in top two luge finish

Germany celebrated its first gold medal as luge star Felix Loch became the youngest-ever men's Olympic champion in his event. A second place for compatriot David Moeller meant the team also picked up another silver.

Felix Loch of Germany celebrates his gold medal

Winner Loch said the result was 'unbelieveable'

Felix Loch accumulated a large winning margin over four heats to claim gold in the men's individual luge competition - leading a top two German finish in the event.

The 20-year-old became the youngest ever Olympic champion for the event, finishing his series of runs in 3 minutes, 13.085 seconds.

He finished 0.679 seconds ahead of German teammate David Moeller who picked up a silver medal. Loch, a police officer, said that taking part had been "enormous fun."

"The last two days have been simply awesome," he said. "I will need two or three hours to realize what's happened. I knew I had a good run but this is unbelievable."

Candles and floral tributes for Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili

Changes were made after the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili

Referring to the fatal high-speed training accident that killed Georgia's Nodar Kumaritashvili on Friday, two-time world champion Loch said that a decision to shorten the course had been correct. "What happened was very hard for all of us," he added.

Loch and Moeller beat title-holder Armin Zoeggeler of Italy, who won took third place.

Loch's father, Norbert Loch, is Germany's luge coach. He competed at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Games for East Germany and finished 13th in men's luge.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Beckert of Germany won a silver medal in 3,000-meter women's speedskating, finishing two seconds behind Czech Martina Sablikova.

Sablikova referred to the German as "a great skater in the 3,000," adding that Beckert would most likely be her main rival for the 5,000-meter event, the final of which will be held February 24.

dfm/rc/Reuters/AFP/dpa

Editor: Nancy Isenson

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